Anime with the Monk: Black blood Brother, where art thou?

Welcome back, friends! After a small break for Shadocon II (which was AWESOME) and the Thanksgiving Holidays, I come back to you all with a new review on a series that some of you willbe sure to want to “sink your teeth” into. And, by this terrible pun you can probably guess we’re talking more vampires. But, not just ANY Vampires. We’re talking brothers! “Black Blood Brothers”, to be precise. The series (Originally a light novel series written by Kohei Azano and Illustrated by Yuuya Kusaka) follows the story of Brothers Jiro Mochizuki as he seeks out a sanctuary to raise and protect his younger brother, Kotaro, within. However, upon their journey to said safe haven, his brother manages to intangle them in a scuffle between Refugee vampires seeking a new home in the “special zone” and a supression team whom has been sent by the Coffin company to hunt down a dangerous threat to both man and Vampire that may be in their midst: A kowloon Child.

Kowloon Children are Vampires whom are both hated and despised by both side of the spectrum due to their terrible means of production. Unlike other vampires, simply being bitten by a Kowloon child transforms the victim into a Kowloon child. It doesn’t matter if they attack human or other vampires: All are converted by the bite… And, did I mention that the Kowloon suffer from a feral and insatiable bloodlust that never seems to be qualled? Ten years prior, Jiro fought alongside of the humans and other vampires to destroy this menace in a war that took place in their stronghold of Hong Kong, earning himself the nick-names such as “the Silver blade” and “kin killer”. The war was won, but there was much loss and a high cost to himself that was paid; brought about by the treason of a once dear friend.This eventually leads us and him down his path to seeking out safety for his brother and, ultimately, to the main story from their in which they find aid from characters such as the human “comprimiser” named Katsuragi Mimiko, the reincarnated dragon king Sei, and a much more.

It’s an interesting series that begins nearly each episode with the revelation of some scattered bit of Jiro’s past. It’s only by the end of the series that you suddenly get what the truth of Jiro’s intentions are and why it is that Kotaro is so important to him. But, the voice acting is pretty good and the story isn’t half bad at all. Truthfully, it’s not one of my all time favorites, but it’s well worth watching if you have the time or if you’re a vampire enthusist. Best part is light does damage and NO ONE sparkles!!! So, in short, I give this one a 7 out of 10. And, I recommend that you all go ahead and take a “bite” on into it. Well, till next time: I’m Miroku and I’ll be looking forward to catching you ALL at Holiday Matsuri, coming up on Dec. 16th through the 18th. Take care!

Time to cast our Shadows over “ShadoCon II”!

Hey everyone! The monk is here and is as excited as all get-out over the upcoming convention “Shadocon”. It’s only a couple of days away, now, and we’re all TOTALLY stoked at the opprotunity to be back there for another adventurous, fun-filled, comedy packed weekend of awesome! With new games, an uncensored show, returning guest, and plenty of laughs in store: YOU JUST CAN’T MISS THIS ONE, FOLKS! Also, be sure to check out Anime Belle’s Fairytale Theatre were we will be joining their crew to bring you the best in Japanese theatre, Manzai comedy, and awesome stories STRAIGHT from Japan’s vast amounts of lore, mythos, and legends. It’s going to be a real BLAST!

Feeling like you can’t wait? Then why not check out our outrageous performance from last year’s con! Or, feel free to browse on through the newest videos, pictures, and our happenin’ forums . There’s always something new to check out and things to explore here at Well, until next time, this is Miroku saying that we all CAN’T WAIT to see you there ^_~.


Anime with the Monk: A “Dance” worth watching

Greetings everyone! Welcome back to another “With the Monk” column with your host, Miroku! Last time, I reviewed a two part movie put together from a 6 part OVA. This time (in keeping with the season and the upcoming holiday) we are reviewing a 12 episode series that, though short, had excellent animation style and rather nice storyline though it draws a bit from a current pop culture obsession. Which one, you may ask? Why vampire romance stories, of course! Now then, before you go clicking the back button, let me just say that this paticular series entitled “Dance in the Vampire Bund” IS NOT one of those “twighlight-er” series. Vampires don’t sparkle and they can’t march about in the daylight WITHOUT any form of protection from the sun. Rather, it is the story of a seemingly average high school student named Akira Kaburagi. Somewhere near the age of 17, he suffers from a case of amnesia and can’t properly recall anything past a year and a half ago. He attends classes and is pretty good friends with everyone, even having a bit of a “sweetheart” relationship with his fellow classmate, Ms. Yuki Saegusa. Everything is normal in his world until the day that a strange young girl comes to his high school looking for him. Upon meeting with him, some of his memories flood back to him with a violent shock that nearly knocks him comatose. He realizes he knows her and recalls a promise he had made to her when they were both younger. It is here that he also learns that she is the princess of vampires who, the night before, had revealed herself and the existance of vampires to the world on a Japanese discussion show. She reveals to him her plans to create a Bund (a sort of coastal city) in which she wishes to invite all non-radical vampires to come and live there lives within without fear of discrimnation or danger of harm. She then reveals that Akira is one of her most trusted knights and asks him to join her, once more, in her efforts. Reluctantly, Akira agrees and joins the princess as her bodyguard and, through the process of protecting her, recovers more and more of his lost memories, rediscovering his ancient blood abilities as a member of the Earth Clan (Aka: Werewolves)…

It’s actually a very well written animation, though it deviates a little from the original story by manga artist Nozomu Tamaki. There was SOME controversy with the series which was originally going to be edited for U.S. shores due to some suggestive themes in the series. However, Funimation released the 12 episode series in it’s entirety with no edits, which is just the way this monk likes to watch them. And the epsiodes with questionable material were few, with explainations and plot twists that work to make it make sense when you get to the later episodes. This series takes the best of modern monster lore (from authors like Anne Rice and Sherrilynn Kenyon) and spices them up in the best way the Japanese know how. So, with that being said, I would definately recommend giving this series a swing and watch/purchase the entire series. It’s defiantely a must have for anyone whom is a fan of vampires, werewolves, and the supernatural romance stories. And, as always, thank you for visiting us here at! Make sure to dropback by again to see what other series, movies, manga, or whatever else we have to show case for you, and we hope you had a Happy Halloween!

“Gun X Sword”: Another review with the Monk

Hello all you crazy Anime Fans! Miroku here, and I just got done watching one of the best Mecha/Spaghetti western series to date. The series is entitled “Gun x Sword” and was directed by Goro Taniguchi with it’s writer being Hideyuki Kurata. It’s a 26 episode series that takes place on a Wild west planet known as ‘The Endless Illusion’. The premise of the world is that, centuries ago, it was a Earth Prison planet guarded by Wardens in piloted Mecha’s called “Armors” which were each named and given a day of the week. These “Armors” were connected to their hosts and had the ability to mend themselves and their riders should they face any injury and granted decelerated aging so as to allow their riders to live centuries past their normal rate. These would, later, come to be called “the original seven”. However, we used up our resources back on earth which lead to it’s abandonment and a full migration to the “Endless Illusion”. An incident occurred along the way that left very few survivors and, soon, the “seven” and the mother ship that carried the survivors from earth to here were lost in antiquity and myth…

Hundreds of years pass… A stranger, dressed in a swallow-tail tuxedo and a strange Sash with handle, arrives at the small desert town of Evergreen. Half starved and dehydrated, he wanders into a church to seek aid, only to find himself caught in the midst of an armed robbery where a young girl tries to stand up to her attackers, but just narrowly misses being killed. Finding themselves audience, the attackers demand the stranger to come in and give them all of his valuables. He agrees, but then they demand his clothes to which he kindly declines. When they get distracted by their anger he strikes with some fancy footwork (ala spike spiegal) before gripping the handle on his sash. And, as he undoes it, a jolt of electricity goes up the sash and it stiffens to the form of a sword. The gunmen try to shoot him, but he deflects their bullets and quickly takes them out. The girl awakens to find that her life has been saved. And as she thanks him, the stranger passes out from the lack of strength and hunger. She then Thus the meeting of the series two main characters occurs. From here after, the tale follows the escapades of the “Stranger” Whose name turns out to be Van. He chooses to go by the name “Van of the Dawn” but, ends up with a WIDE variety of titles given to him throughout the series; both comedic and a little insulting to his character in most parts. The little lady is named Wendy Garrett and she joins Van in his journey as they both come to find a common quest. That quest is to hunt down the man known as “the claw” as he possesses a clawed prosthetic arm.

For Van, he seeks the man to kill him for the murder of his beloved wife, Elena, on their wedding day. For Wendy, she hunts after her brother, Michael, whom was taken by the man. Along the way, we come to find out that Van is connected to one of the legendary “Armors” known as Dann of Thursday. He’s called down from a Satellite, in orbit, quite frequently to do battle when confronted by both regular armors (created using old technology and modern workings of science) and the other Six “Originals”. Van also meets a rival named Ray whom is also seeking “the claw” and wields a Gun-cane as his weapon (most likely where the title Gun x Sword comes in… AT least in my thinking). The world has a very “Trigun” look, but with a few higher tech. luxuries (Cars, boats, Zeppelins, computers, mobil transports, etc…) Also, there are quite a few comedic jabs with the world having it’s own “Voltron force” of sorts and an Episode about a couple of love-struck crooks named “Bonnie and Claude”. The best episode for both comedy and fan service was probably Episode 17.

Anyways, it wasn’t a trip back to the planet “Gunsmoke” but, it was a fairly decent series which I find I am happy to have watched and, very much, enjoyed the ending though it may leave you a little curious as to what would happen next. All the same, I would have to say that “Gun x Sword” is a interesting series and well worth the watching if you’re into Comedy, space westerns, or Mecha. On a rating, I’ll give it a 4 out of 5 stars. Well, guess it’s time for me to hit the ol’ dusty trail, myself. Keep tuned into for more insightful reviews, sweet links, and comedic adventures of our own! This is Miroku saying, “Until next we meet, keep your Tuxedo blowing in tomorrow and your face towards the future!” Bye!

Free + Convention = An amazing trip

Goodness… WHAT A TRIP! Got back from Freecon early Sunday morning and decided to take the time to rest. However, now that I’m feeling rested, I just have to say what an absolutely FANTASTIC TIME we had while we were there! It was truely wonderful to see all the cosplayers and get to talk to people both new and old. There was so much going on! Everything from it’s free maid/butler cafe to it’s great panels and back around again to it’s dealers room/artist alley. Certainly, things were a bit small and the convention took place between two buildings, but it only served to get me pumped for whom or what I might find around the next bin. And, as an added bonus, there was a Japanese culture fair going on at THE SAME TIME in their second building, so there was many beautiful kimonos, Japanese crafts, Dancing/story telling, and a most WONDERFUL charity that was excepting donations to help the folks whom were hurt over in Japan by both the tsunami and the nuclear meltdown that (Thank God) they have just about under control.

I, also, saw alot of people I haven’t seen in a while. Alot, of which, were extremely friendly and made me feel like we hadn’t ever had to part ways. It was EXTREMELY GOOD to see everyone. So, with all of this awesome, what could we do for the con in return? Well, we ROCKED the convention by offering one heck of a great show! The audience particpation was high as well as the comedy and I don’t think there was ANYONE whom didn’t leave main events with a smile on their faces. So, in short, Freecon was/is an incredible convention that, we here at aniRAGE, will be looking forward to returning to and performing at again, next year! Till then, though, stay tuned as we will shortly have both video and pictures up from Freecon and watch for us to be at Metrocon, this year! Can’t WAIT to rock the show with the folks from Anime Belle. But, until next time, this is the monk: signing out!


It’s Thursday’s talk about a song called “Saturday”.

Good morning friends and faithful watchers of! Miroku here and I’m pretty certain that, by now, everyone has seen the trainwreck of a Music video that is “Friday” by Rebecca Black (great song, wasn’t it? -Insert heavy sarcasm.-). Well, as I was mandering around the internet, I discovered that ol’ Becca wasn’t the only one to take up the charge and sing about her favorite day. Another contender has thrown their hat in the ring. A young gentleman by the name of Brian Haner has recently released his own day inspired video. The title of which is “Saturday”. And, for your viewing pleasure, we here wanted to give you a chance to see a video that is not only just as good , but even greater then the homage that was payed by Ms. Black. So, without delay, I offer you all “Saturday”!

“Saturday” by Brian Harper

Hope you all enjoy and stay tuned for more great comedy, wacky videos, and all the other fantastic holabaloo you come to expect from us, here at… And, keep you’re eyes peeled. We’re starting our next tour on the Convention circuit with Freecon which will be taking place on April 8th-9th in Tallahasse. For more info check out Freecon for more info. Catch you guys later!


One more day: A Christmas list of Things to do!

Can you believe it? ONE MORE DAY! Just one more day and it will be Christmas once again! We hope everyone is doing well this holiday season. But, you know, with one day left… That DOESN’T mean that you can take it easy now… Nope! There are still AT LEAST 10 more things to do and, as we feel it’s your right to know, we figured we’d let you in on what, exactly, is left to be done! So, here is our list of the Top 10 things that are left to be done BEFORE Santa comes down the chimney tonight!

Top 10 things you should do before tomorrow (as brought to you by aniRAGE!)

10.) Limber up!

Think you have stamina? Think you have speed? Well, you ain’t NOTHING! Not when compared to your 5 year old sister/brother. Our Scientists have determined that, in kids from 1 to 92, Yule-tide hormones increase at an alarming rate on Christmas; endowing the host of such “cheer” genes with supernatural (if not almost Godlike) abilities! So, if you want to be the one to get the “Good Spot” by the tree, then you’ll want to start by getting your body ready for the big day. And, if you haven’t already discovered it, you can always try out the “12 days of Christmas” Workout! The link to which is RIIIIGGGGHHHT here:

9.)Check for “Santa Hazards”.

Up on the housetop, reindeer fall! Stuck is good ol’ Santa Claus! What a bummer it would be if you had to bury 8 reindeer in the back yard or called the fire Dept. to pull a fat man out of the chimney… So, make sure that Chimney’s are clear, roof and walkways are de-iced (if necessary), and that all safty hazards to that Jolly elf and his crew are squared away.

8.)Activate your Anti-Grinch Defense System!

He’s a mean one… Mr. GRINCH! He really is a heel! And, unless you want him to sneak in and steal YOUR Christmas, I suggest setting up a little “Security”. Now, here at aniRAGE!, we’ve devised our own solution which is really quite keen! It’s slick and will do the trick for someone so mean. Start off with a tripwire. Attached to it empty cans. Then, dig yourself a Tiger pit with spikes, on which, he’ll land. Or if that seems to much work, we have yet another trick! Let him inside and when he’s not looking, offer him an RKO like Rick! … Ere, Zeke…

7.)Equip Festive Garb.

It’s the holidays! And, being that means that there is NO better time to make yourself look ABSOLUTELY ridiculous! So, what are you waiting for? All of your local Grocery Stores, “Best Buys”, book stores, gas stations, and peddling hobo’s are selling garments. Hats and caps and holiday underpants! All of which start at the low price of a dollar and up! Don’t have the money or a ride to get to places? No Problem! Just grab an empty box (Or large container), cut out holes for the arms and head, Wrap it (leaving the holes for arms and head unhindered), and put a bow on your head! YOU can be the greatest gift someone gets this year!

6.)Here you come, a-wassailing!

What’s more customary or heart-warming then a group of talentless indivduals going doorstep to doorstep, murdering many a classic and sacred holiday tune? I just can’t think of anything! AND, as a bonus, if you sing “We wish you a Merry Christmas” and get to the second and third verse, you can make demands for Figgy-Pudding… Or, maybe cash. (Note: “aniRAGE!” does NOT condone the misuse of holiday songs and/or Extortion in ANY form. “aniRAGE!” is NOT responsible for any verbal abuse, physical damage, arrests, or any other negative outcomes encountered by any parties whom might choose to do such terrible, terrible things!)

5.)Time for Coco!

After wailing like a cat (and possibly being hit by a boot for it), it’s time to kick back and enjoy something warm. Coco is very customary at this time of year, too! We recommend having yourself a nice hot glass. But, not to hot. Don’t want or need any third degree burns… Or Lawsuites… (Note: “aniRAGE!” is ALSO not resposnible for any burns/allergies inflicted by the consumption of overly warmed cocoa-based beverages. Drink at your own risk.)

4.) Hang out your stockings… And gather all of your gifts together!

Remember that “limbering up” thing we mentioned above? We’ll if you’re just to lazy (or need the extra Security), we would highly recommend goign ahead and hunting for everything that is yours under the tree… And, stacking it all in a nice, neat little pile. Note, this might be difficult to do due to hidden surprises and parents whom will bash you with a spatula if you stop at the tree to long… But, if you can succeed, it will double your ability to get to all that is rightfully yours and plow on through.

3.) Set out offerings to the great “Red One”.

Customarily, it’s cookies and milk for Mr. Kringle… But, in todays bold new world (and with close to 7,000,000,000 people on the planet to possibly visit) Santa MAY just need a pick-me-up. After all, he isn’t called “Jolly OLD saint Nicolas” for NOTHING! So, we recommend that a community gathering should be had through out each city of the world and at every 2,000,000,000th home: an Energy drink should be substituted. We would say “At every home” but, it’s only recommended to drink 3 a day TOPS! And, at this age in his life, Santa’s possibly a little “Caffiene Sensitive”… So, it might just be safer this way.

2.) Holiday Movie Hoe-Down!

Know what’s good with that CoCo we mentioned earlier? MOVIES! But, not just ANY movies. It’s Christmas FOR PETE’S SAKE! Flip on the tube (or hit Red-Box) and get yourself some Holiday films! Or, pull something out of the collection! (Editor’s note: I personally recommend “Nitemare before Christmas”, “Rudolph: the Red-nose Reindeer”, and “Frosty, the Snowman”.)

1.) Stop to smell the Ginger Bread…

Now, I know that there will be QUITE a few of you whom don’t like gingerbread… It’s a play off of an OLD expression. But, seriously, take a moment to breath and think back fondly on all the things you’ve done till now, on all of the great friends and family you have, and the many-MANY gifts and opprotunities that have been made available and given unto you this year. Ponder the meaning of the season! Call up above stated “Family” and “Friends”. Go visit, if you can! And, in visiting, I would like to say that we all hope that you’ll keep coming back to visit us here at! And, from all of us, to all of you, we sincerely hope and wish you a very merry Christmas…

For always and forever,

ShadoCon 2010 is in the books!

I just got home from ShadoCon 2010. Man, what an amazing weekend!

I’d like to thank Doug Walker and EgoRaptor for joining us in our first-ever 2-hours improv panel. It was already going to be a great time,a nd you made it even more special!

Of course we’d love to thank Animebelle for letting us take part in another great Fairy Tale Theater.

And Chris and the rest of the ShadoCon staff for making this wonderful weekend happen.

And where would I be if not thanking the wonderful attendees who came to ShadoCon. You guys are the reason why we do what we do, and we are so glad you could join in on such a great weekend.

Our videos of all the events should be up soon! So stay tuned to!